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Cottage Review: The Old Mill, Southwold in Suffolk

By Rachel Ducker  |  July 31, 2021

Southwold is well known for its brightly coloured beach huts, (now said to be the UKs most Instagrammable), stretching as far as the eye can see overlooking sandy beaches and its very own iconic pier. The high street is home to boutique shops, fresh food delis and plenty of pubs, cafes and restaurants. It’s an ideal size town to explore in a couple of days, ultimately making it the perfect staycation spot.

With vast sea views and sights of Southwold’s 130 acre common, The Old Mill has to be one of the most idyllic places to stay in this quaint little market town based on the Suffolk Coast.

The property

This spacious property is ideal for family gatherings

Situated in arguably one of the most desirable locations within Southwold, The Old Mill is a five-bedroom property set back just off the high street. First impressions are impressive, its white façade overlooks miles of greenery leading down to Southwold Golf Course and the harbour area.

Set out over three floors, this residence is all about bringing friends and family together and sleeps up to 10 people. There is a large open plan kitchen and dining room, which leads onto a beautiful private walled garden complete with garden room, seating area and barbecue for those warm summer evenings. During our stay, we also spent a lot of time in the property’s front garden which leads directly onto the common, it’s the perfect place to watch the world go by and gets direct sunlight most of the day.

The large drawing room with open fireplace, is the ideal spot for those who want to curl up and relax with a book or glass of wine after a long day at the beach. For entertainment, it even has its own games room with smart TV, games console, a full-size table football game and a 5’ pool table.

All bedrooms are beautifully styled in neutral tones with accents of coastal themes such seagulls, boats and wildflowers. They all come with their own bathrooms, so privacy and waiting times are not an issue here.

The self-catering experience

A fish and chip takeaway is a must when staying on the coast

The best thing about staying in a house like this is that you have your own kitchen and eating areas, so the way you dine is all down to you. If you do choose to cater for yourself throughout your stay, in the kitchen there is everything you need including an Aga, electric oven, gas hob, dishwasher, American style fridge freezer, coffee machine and microwave.

If cooking is not on your agenda during your visit, you are just a walk away from the delights of the town’s eateries. Two Magpies is your breakfast or brunch hot spot, serving fresh coffees, delicious bread, and the most gigantic pastries. You can either eat in or takeaway. There are many amazing delis including Black Olive, situated right in the centre of the high street. Here, you will find the perfect ingredients to create fabulous mezze lunches and acquire snacks for your stay. (Although there is also a Tesco and a Coop for those essential items).

It would be a crime to miss out on a fish and chip take away whilst staying on the coast. Southwold has multiple chippies to choose from, my two personal favourites are The Little Fish and Chip Shop on the high street and the Sole Bay Chip Co. on the harbour, believe me, you can’t get your fish any fresher! Other great places to eat out for lunch or dinner include The Crown, The Swan or The Lord Nelson – all managed by Adnams.

Lastly, it’s not a trip to the seaside without an ice cream, so pop in at Harris James for a traditional gelato or visit one of the seafront cafes who can whip you up a splendid 99.

Fun things to do

Colourful beach huts are available to rent

If you are spending the day at the beach, be sure to pop along to The Pier where you will also find a large amusement arcade. I have great memories as a child in this place.

If you want more of a sheltered base for the day, you can rent beach huts for as little as £25 on Southwold’s promenade through

Just behind The Pier you will find Southwold Boating Lake. Bring back childhood memories by watching your little ones paddle away in one of their paddle boats, whilst you enjoy a cream tea in the 1940’s style tearoom.

For the adults, why not take a visit to Adnams and try a ‘make your own experience’ or brewery tour? Discover how Adnams create their range of award-winning spirits from the start of the process in our super-efficient brewery through to distilling and, of course indulge in a sample or two.

Other fun family activities include crabbing, you can get lines and nets from many of the local shops, and for thrill seekers a sea trip on Coastal Voyager is a must. During the summer you can visit the Maize Maze or hire bikes from Southwold Cycle Hire – both situated at Old Farm Southwold.

In a nutshell

All bedrooms are beautifully styled in neutral tones with accents of coastal themes

Without a doubt, this property is perfect for large groups and families. Location wise you can’t get much better, The Old Mill is the perfect base for enjoying a break by the seaside in Southwold. Having not seen my family properly since covid hit, it was the ideal place for us to reunite and spend some quality family time together, I can vouch for us all when I say we didn’t want to leave.


The property sleeps 10 and one pet is allowed (only in kitchen and dining room). Prices start from £508 per night in peak season.